Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cross Country Drive

This week I had a vision of the day Martin spilled hot chocolate in his lap at the Tim Hortons on Bethel Road. Every morning we stopped and got a donut on the way to school during his first year as a student at Ecole Francais. On this day, we had to leave early and drive over to Kmart so we could buy a new pair of pants. He changed in the car and we went on to school without anyone every knowing.

I was very sad as I sat thinking about this day. And I am tearing up again as I write about it.

That day is gone. I no longer have any little boys to take care of.

Last Tuesday, Martin left Columbus, Ohio, to make the cross country drive between Ohio and California with our car. Before I left to come out here I bought a map, planned his trip, highlighted a route, put it in the car. I have spent hours online searching for the optimum travel distance. I gave him suggestions of where he should stay. I put just enough money on a credit card so he could buy gas, but not so much that if he lost it...

I was sick to my stomach the entire day he left. I sent him a text message every couple hours to see how he was doing.

"OK, make sure you leave St. Louis on I-44 down to Joplin. Watch the weather. Always be on the lookout. Don't stop in big cities."

"We are already on I-70 on our way to Colorado," came the reply, "We are camping tonight next to a river, we already booked a place online."

"That's the wrong way. That's the wrong way. That's the wrong way," I kept thinking.

"Ok, well, I can fix it.
You just have to get to I-25 and come down through Santa Fe."

I couldn't sleep. I could barely work on Wednesday waiting for an update to see if he made it to the right road.

"We have been on the road two hours already. We're going to Utah. I figured if we are camping, we might as well camp somewhere cool," came the text.

On Wednesday I had to let Martin go.

I worked hard to give him the skills so that he can make his own decisions. I have loved him and I have tried to teach him to love others and to love life. This has not been the easiest three years on my family. But what I want my children to learn is that life can be an adventure. It does not have to be a job. And it does not have to conform to what other people tell you it should be.

On Wednesday it became clear that Martin can lead his own adventure. I need to let him.
He just called. He is about four hours away. He will be in Ocotillo by dinner.

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